| Azlan Othman |
RELIGIOUS education should continue to the tertiary level to shield Bruneian youth from the social ills that continue to plague the nation, said a lecturer at the Academy of Brunei Studies (APB) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) to the Bor-neo Bulletin yesterday.
Hj Mohd Rafee bin Hj Shahif said religious subjects like Syariah and Usuluddin were taken only by a section of students at the tertiary level, which he explained was not enough, as students, particularly nowadays, should have continuous religious education “regardless of whether they are in the religious stream or otherwise”.
The lecturer talked to the Bulletin on the side-line of the Social Issues Seminar, which entered its second day yesterday, at the Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong. The event was organised by the Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB) Executive Council and coordinated by APB, UBD.
Another of the seminar’s panellists, Datin Dr Hjh Saadiah binti Datu Derma Wijaya Hj Tamit, a senior lecturer at APB, spoke about a case study of ‘Women as Criminals at Jerudong Prison’.
She highlighted that studies have shown that women have been put into prisons due to a lack of Islamic knowledge, which was also the main factor for their involvement in criminal activities.
The main offences include drug-related cases attributed to some internal influences and their surrounding environment. For instance, if a hus-band is involved in drugs, then the wife would also get influenced by it – forced or voluntarily.
Data obtained this month reveals that out of 48 women inmates at the Jerudong Prison, 44 per cent are Bruneians, 75 per cent are Muslims and 62 per cent are of married status.
She added that women engaged in criminal activities and then imprisoned usually have fa-mily problems (such as abuse divorce), a lack of education and poor housing conditions.
Other causes include peer pressure, a level of gullibility and financial constraints which could lead to fraud, breach of trust, theft and drug-smuggling.